By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Ultimate Edition
This is not the first time Harry Potter has been on Blu Ray but it’s the first time I’m seeing it. What? I don’t have kids so why would I be watching it on my own? It’s not like it’s Labyrinth or anything.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Ultimate Edition on Blu-Ray
The first Harry Potter film looks good, but a little rougher than I might expect a polished studio blockbuster. I guess it’s almost a decade old already. The picture is smooth, a little wavery on the clarity. You still see details in the textures of the sets and costumes. It’s shiny and polished because this is before the series goes dark. There are also lots of bright colors like the green of the Hogwarts campus and the professors’ robes.
The centerpiece of the “Ultimate Edition” is the new one hour documentary, part one of seven as the entire series goes “Ultimate.” It’s cool to see the actors now intercut with their interviews on the set as children, although they’re just as mature back then.
Some fun tidbits in the new documentary include stories of the contacts and fake teeth that got nixed after a day of shooting. Good, they should be changing the books anyway. Screen test footage of the kids in plain clothes and on no sets is cool. It’s more surreal that to see these scenes in a natural setting.
There’s a lot of recap of material that’s probably already known, like casting, building the sets. It goes scene by scene, set by set but with the context of hindsight. The business of landing the big job is interesting. You can bash Chris Columbus but you can see him directing children and getting what he needs out of them. Owl stories are standard behind the scenes anecdotes, and a bit where they point out the children’s ages between shots is cool. My favorite is when they say “Philosopher’s Stone” in some of the clips.
All the extras from previous DVDs are still here, along with the Blu Ray in movie experience with Chris Columus. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Ultimate Edition is also available.